The gorgeous beach at Palmachim Beach National Park
Palmachim Beach National Park is a very popular beach close to Rishon LeZion and only 18 Km from Tel Aviv. The beach is expansive, the surroundings are pretty, and it has excellent facilities. There is also a short hike/walk close to the beach to a peninsula jutting into the sea on which are the ruins of Tel Yavne-Yam and from where there are excellent views.
The beach has excellent facilities. These include a large parking lot, changing facilities, cold water machines, a kiosk selling cold drinks, snacks and simple meals such as pizza, plenty of shaded picnic benches (to the right of the site as you face the ocean), outdoor showers, shaded areas on the beach, and of course WCs and a lifeguard. New and improved facilities are currently being built. Because the beach is so large it can be tempting to swim outside the view of the lifeguard. There have been many deaths in Israel from unsupervised ocean swimming and everyone should be strongly discouraged from doing this.
The water varies from high waves to absolutely calm. It can make a big difference to your swimming. If the sea is really rough, swimming may not even be permitted, in which case you will have wasted your trip. This is a useful weather website for wave heights and temperatures by the sea at different locations.
Directions: Enter “Palmachim” into Waze and click on “Palmachim Beach National Park.”
Admission: There is a facility of the Israel Nature and Parks Authority. There is an admission charge of 25 NIS for private vehicles on weekdays and 50 NIS on Saturday and festivals. For those with a yearly subscription to the Israel Nature and Parks Authority, admission is 13 NIS for weekdays and 15 NIS on Saturday and festivals. Supervised swimming is from 8.00 a.m. to 5.00 p.m. from April 15, 8.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. May until June 19, 8.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. weekdays and Friday and 7.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. on Saturday from June 20 until end of August, 8.00 a.m. to 7.00 p.m. weekdays and 7.00 a.m.to 7.00 p.m. on Saturday, in September 8.00 a.m. to 6.00 p.m. and 7.00 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday. Their phone number is 08 622 0836. This is their website.
Public transport: Enter “Palmachim” into Moovit and click on “Palmachim Beach National Park.” The park is a 15-minute/1.2 Km walk from the bus stop.
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Ruins of a bathhouse at Tel Yaven-Yam
There is a very nice short walk/hike on the Red Trail just above the beach which leads to the ruins of Yavne-Yam. It starts from the left of the beach facilities facing the ocean, and just beyond some open showers. It is 1.4 Km there and back and will take about 30 minutes.
The premonitory is the site of the ancient port city of Yavne-Yam. The story is similar to other small coastal cities such as Ashdod-Yam. It was established by the Canaanites in the Middle Bronze Age in the Middle Canaanite period. The Israelites occupied it in the 8th to 7th centuries BCE. Phoenicians lived here during the Persian period under their sovereignty. It was also occupied during the Roman and Byzantine periods. During the Muslim period a fortress was built here. The city was deserted when the Crusaders came to the country. The only ruins that can be seen are a small section of a wall and a bathhouse.
There are plenty of shaded picnic benches in the park.
Nearby places of interest:
The estuary of Soreq Stream is to the north of Palmachim Beach in Soreq Estuary National Park. There are a number of trails that crisscross the park. Access is from Route 4311 close to Palmachim Beach. There is a blue-marked stream trail that takes 30 to 60 minutes and is partially wheelchair accessible and is fine for strollers. The yellow-marked dune trail takes about 45 minutes and the black-marked estuary trail takes about 90 minutes to the beach and back.